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What a prenuptial agreement does when a couple files for divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | Divorce

New York couples facing divorce know that there will be months of transition and uncertainty for their families. Figuring out how to split shared property and the responsibility for children can be a major challenge. Some couples spend months and thousands of dollars fighting each other.

When you don’t know what to expect in a divorce, making big changes to your life and your family can seem quite intimidating. If you and your spouse have the foresight to sign a prenuptial agreement during your engagement, divorce will be much more predictable than it is for the average couple.

What role does your prenuptial agreement serve in New York divorce proceedings? 

Your prenuptial agreement can streamline the divorce

You and your spouse talked about the property and possibly even your future children when you created your prenuptial agreement. Each of you may have had certain assets you wanted to protect or certain terms you wanted to request.

When either of you files for divorce, terms in your prenuptial agreement will dictate how to divide property and how you share custody. You can file an uncontested divorce and minimize how much it costs to end your marriage. You simply use the terms from your prenuptial agreement to guide what happens in the divorce.

The prenuptial agreement might lead to extra hearings

There are two reasons why your prenuptial agreement might complicate the divorce instead of simplifying it. The first is if one spouse does not want the agreement upheld. They may try to challenge the validity of the document.

The second is when there is some kind of penalty for spousal misconduct included in the agreement. If one spouse wants to enforce it but the other contests their request, the result may be intense litigation between spouses.

Typically, provided that both spouses are happy with using the prenuptial agreement to guide the divorce, the contents of the agreement will guide the creation of a settlement that both spouses will file and then submit to the court. Understanding what prenuptial agreements do in a New York divorce can give you more confidence about your filing.